Senate Changes, Medical Privacy &
H.J. Res. 38
||June 5, 2001
The recent change in the U.S. Senate leadership dramatically
importance of repealing by June 15, 2001 the so-called
privacy rule that was promulgated by the Clinton
administration. Our window
of opportunity is quickly closing and Senators Ted Kennedy
Clinton will soon start working aggressively to keep it from
The much-touted federal medical privacy rule is a 367-page
sham on the
American people and as time passes, more people are
realizing just how
dangerous this 367-page monster is.
On February 9, 2000, we alerted you to the fact that your
records and those of your children will soon be an open file
- without your
consent or knowledge. Thousands of you sent comments
to Health and Human
Services objecting to this dangerous rule. On June 14,
Ron Paul introduced an amendment to a Labor-H.H.S.
appropriations bill that
would temporarily withhold funding for the creation and
the "unique health identifier." Dr. Paul's
amendment was accepted due to
your efforts at the time. However, on October 13,
2000, our success with
the Paul amendment was threatened. A conference
committee was planning to
remove the Paul amendment at the last minute. However,
due to your quick
action, the threat was squelched.
On March 15, 2001, Congressman Paul submitted H.J. Res. 38
repeal the so-called federal medical privacy rule because of
it being such
an enormous sham on the American people. Dr. Paul
submitted H.J. Res. 38
under the Congressional Review Act of 1996. The
Congressional Review Act
allows Congress to repeal, within 90 days, a federal
agency's regulation by
bypassing the normal time-consuming and cumbersome
In other words, H.J. Res. 38 can bypass the normal House
and go to the House floor for a vote and, if passed by the
House, it will
bypass the Senate committee process as well and go to the
Senate floor for a
If H.J. Res. 38 doesn't pass by June 15th, it can only be
resubmitted as a
standard bill; thus being subject to the normal legislative
process - and
that is when Senators Kennedy and Clinton come into play.
When the U.S.
Senate changes its leadership, Senator Kennedy will become
the chairman of
the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee
Hillary Clinton will be a majority member of that committee.
Kennedy's committee, with Senator Hillary Clinton as one of
will be the Senate committee that has jurisdiction on any
bill that would
attempt to repeal the federal medical privacy rule - the
privacy rule that Senators Kennedy and Clinton have worked
so hard to create
and implement. The very two people who created the
monster that we are
trying to slay are now going to be in a strong position to
monster from harm.
Keep in mind that Senator Kennedy, in 1973, was instrumental
health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Senator
Kennedy touted HMOs as the way to lower the cost and improve the quality of health care
in the U.S.
How many people believe that has happened? Keep in
mind that he and Mrs.
Hillary Clinton, in 1996, were instrumental in designing and
Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) and
HIPAA that later spawned the now-famous, so-called federal
rule that we've been fighting against. How many people
believe their health
insurance is now more portable and accountable? By the
way, if you thought
the infamous Clinton Health Security Act of 1992-93
(commonly known as
Hillary Care) with its socialized prescription of assigning
health identifier" to every man, woman, and child; of
government-sanctioned national medical database; of
rationing health care,
etc. died, then think again. HIPAA, passed in 1996, is
Hillary Care - alive
Congressman Ron Paul hosted a briefing about the federal
rule for congressional staff on May 16, 2001 so they could
learn how sham
the privacy rule really is. Dr. Paul asked Sue Blevins
the president of the
Institute for Health Freedom to speak to the congressional
Fifty-one staff members attended. Ms. Blevins, a
registered nurse and
health policy expert, has actually read and studied the
medical privacy rule. She told the audience that the
privacy rule actually weakens a person's ability to control
access to their
medical records while giving the federal government and its
authority to access a person's medical records - without
Sue Blevins characterized HIPAA and the resulting federal
rule as being the most sweeping, government-devised change
of health care in
our country's history; even more sweeping than the
establishment of Medicare
and Medicaid and HMOs. Ms. Blevins gave each staff
member a briefing
book documenting her findings and conclusions as a result of
her study of
the 367-page rule. You can read this same briefing
book and Ms. Blevins'
outstanding summary title "Myths & Facts" by
The so-called federal medical privacy rule will give us
control over the privacy of our personal medical records
than we have now
and give the federal government and authorized third parties
more access to
our most personal information WITHOUT our consent.
Examples of third
parties and purposes for which access to our records is
1. Oversight of the health care system.
2. FDA monitoring (including dietary supplements).
3. Public health surveillance and activities.
4. Foreign governments collaborating with U.S. public health
5. Research (if an Institutional Review Board or privacy
6. Law enforcement activities.
7. Judicial and administrative proceedings.
8. HHS-Office of Civil Rights.
"The regulations also permit doctors and health plans
to release intimate
medical records to government agencies for almost any
purpose, reversing the
old presumption that release is unethical unless required by
Brigid McMenamin in "Prescription for Snooping - New
Medical Privacy Rules
Will Only Open More Files to Unwarranted View,"
Forbes, May 28, 2001.
We must continue our work and see that the U.S. House vote
on H.J. Res. 38
no later than June 15, 2001. House Speaker Dennis
Hastert can make it
happen. He can schedule a vote on H.J. Res. 38 and
that is what we are
asking him to do.
Contact Speaker Hastert in one or both of the following
1. Sign a petition at
Petitions are delivered daily to Speaker Hastert's office.
2. Call Speaker Hastert's office at 202-225-0600.
Our window of opportunity is closing and there are those who
will work to
keep it closed. Please sign a petition now and call
office to ask him to schedule a vote on H.J. Res. 38.
The Liberty Committee